The mission of the Hallett Charitable Trusts is to strengthen the Cuyuna Lakes Area and designated non-profit organizations through financial support, as well as maintaining the Hallett Charitable Trusts as a financial resource for future generations.


Ernest Wilbur Hallett and Jessie F. Hallett

  • 1882-1911

    Married in 1911, the Halletts made Crosby, Minnesota their permanent home. Here, they established the Crosby Hardware and Furniture Co., which Mr. Hallett owned and operated until the waning years of life. Crosby was also the headquarters for the Hallett Construction Co., one of the Midwest's largest and most respected paving and construction firms.
  • 1911-1977

    "Mr. Hallett" as even his closest associates fondly knew him, organized the First National Bank of Crosby and served as its president for many years. Throughout their sixty-five year marriage, Jessie was his closest confidant. Together, they became highly successful business entrepreneurs, developing over two-dozen materials and construction related companies across the United States.
  • 1977-1983

    The Halletts were very active and supportive of their community. They contributed generously to education, community projects, youth programs, and civic initiatives, including the Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library and the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center.


E.W. and Jessie Hallett created two charitable trusts to perpetuate their philanthropy. Jessie established the Jessie F. Hallett Charitable Trust to continue to provide support to organizations that she had supported during her lifetime. Several years later, E.W. created the E.W. Hallett Charitable Trust and empowered his Trustees to carry out his philanthropic commitment.

The same Board of Trustees administers both Trusts. The conditions and criteria set out herein apply to all grants awarded by the Board of Trustees.

The Trusts award the greater of the net annual investment income or the Internal Revenue Code required distribution amount. In the last three years the Trustees have awarded an approximate average of $1 million in grants annually. Approximately 40% of this amount satisfies distributions required by the Jessie F. Hallett Charitable Trust. The balance is awarded at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

E.W. and Jessie Hallett

(1882-1983) and (1891-1976)

Board of Trustees

L-R: Margaret Poley, Executive Director
Paul Schliesman, Trustee (chair)
Sally Godfrey, US Bank (Corporate Trustee)
Kirk Springsted, Trustee
Desiree Parker, Trustee
Not pictured, Tom Jensen, Trustee

  • In the last three years the Trustees have awarded approximately $1 million in grants annually.

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  • Grant applications must be filed by Oct. 1 of each year to be considered.

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  • The Halletts contributed generously to education, community projects, youth programs and civic initiatives.

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The Grant

The conditions and criteria set out herein apply to all grants awarded.

The Board of Trustees makes grants for projects that meet the Trust mission. Grants will only go to designated organizations that are tax exempt under internal Revenue Code Sec. 501©(3), or that are tax exempt governmental entities.

When requested by the Trustees, a grant recipient must furnish a written report of how the grant fund has been used.

The Trusts may pay grants in installments. Payments may be conditioned on the receipt of invoices substantiating the use of payments.

Failure to begin expending grant funds within 90 days of receipt or to fully use the grant funds within one year of receipt may result in forfeiture of the grant and return of unspent funds.


Grants will not be made:

    • To an applicant whose intent is to use the proceeds as a grant to another primary beneficiary.
    • To benefit primarily officers, Board members, or employees of the applicant, individually or collectively.
    • To individuals.

The Trustees give priority to applications:

    • From the Cuyuna Lakes Area which includes the Minnesota cities and towns of Crosby, Cuyuna, Deerwood, Ironton, Rabbit Lake, Riverton, Trommald and Woldford
    • From organizations that, although headquartered outside the Cuyuna Lakes Area, extend major services or benefits to the community and its citizens.
    • To organizations that are designated for support by a trust.

The Trustees prefer grant projects that:

    • Directly impact a broadly defined population in a manner that will measurably enrich its educational, health, economic, and cultural opportunities.
    • Have wide public support.
    • Have an existing equity investment.
    • Are expected to remain operational without the additional funding from the Trusts.
    • Are non-religious and non-partisan, directly or indirectly.
    • Will not be a substitution for the applicant’s own available resources.
    • Will enhance the preservation of the Hallett’s heritage.

The Trustees may make multi-year commitments for grants. If applicants receive a multi-year commitment, they must renew their application for each succeeding year of the commitment to assure the Trustees that they are satisfactorily carrying out the project for which the grant was made, or the Trustees may rescind the remaining portion of the grant.

Operational Grants

The Trustees may fund grants to support operations grant requests from a qualified grant recipient under the following guidelines:

  • Qualified entities that have received uninterrupted operational dollars from the Trust:

Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library

Hallett Community Center

  • Grants for entities that otherwise qualify and meet other terms and conditions as set and modified from time to time by the Trustees
  • Terms and conditions governing operational grants will include but are not limited to:

Limits on length of term

Dollar caps to the amount given

Documentation of plans and progress to secure other funding

Grant making procedures


Application Procedures and E.W. Hallett Grant Application

Applicants wishing to be considered for a grant must file a “E.W. Hallett grant application” with the Executive Director. The grant application should be filed before October 1 to be considered before the end of the fiscal year. The Trusts’ fiscal year ends on November 30.

The Trustees review grant applications throughout the year with a final meeting in November. After reviewing an application, the Trustees may request additional information, make a final decision, or defer a decision until later in the year. The Trustees will inform their applicants of their decisions in a timely manner. The Trustees disburse grant funds as they see fit during the year and may defer payment to the following year.

Application Cover Letter

Please review the Trust’s Mission and Priorities and Preferences before submitting an application. Attach all required submission documents as stated in the grant application guidelines.

Application and Submission Guidelines

Please review the Hallett Trusts’ Mission and Priorities and Preferences to make sure your request falls within the Trust parameters. You may send a letter of inquiry to the Executive Director.

When complete, you may upload all application files here, or mail them to P.O. Box 39045, Edina, Mn 55439

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf.


Grants made to or for the benefit of citizens in the Cuyuna Lakes Area

Jessie F Hallett Memorial Library – Operational Support
Hallett Community Center – Operational Support
IMBA Bike Crew – Matching fund and Bonding project
Crosby Ironton High School – Scholarships
IMBA Bike Crew – Second Half of Bonding Project
Sexual Assault Services – Operational Support
Hallett Community Center – Dehumidification Project
City of Cuyuna – Pump Track
Kinship Partners – Operational Support
Cuyuna Range Youth Center – Operations and Matching
Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers – Operational Support
Salem West – Operational Support
Bridges of Hope – Operational Support
City of Ironton – Redevelopment Planning
Lakes Area Music Festival – Program Support
JFHML Foundation – Project Support and Matching Grant
Crosby Ironton High School – Literacy Project
Salvation Army Brainerd – Operational Support
Hallett Community Foundation – Project Support
Crosby Ironton High School – PBIS Project
Junior Achievement – Operational Support
Cuyuna Range Heritage Network – Painting Project
Second Harvest North Central Food Bank – Kid Packs Program


For further information, contact Executive Director Margaret Poley

(952) 946-1229
P.O. Box 39045 Edina, Mn 55439